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  1. When you visit Google Search in the Firefox web browser and run a search, search results look similar to how they are displayed in Google's own browser Chrome. When you right-click on a link to copy it, you will notice a difference when you compare the content that is copied. In Chrome, the target URL is copied. In Firefox, an intermediary page is copied instead, which includes tracking data and is used by Google to track the activity. If you notice the behavior, you may have several questions about the difference. Why is Google treating Chrome and Firefox differently? What is the purpose of the intermediary page? How can Firefox be configured to copy the "real" link right away? Chrome supports the Ping feature, also known as Hyperlink Auditing, and has enabled it by default for links. Firefox supports the feature, but it is not enabled in the browser. Tracking in Chrome uses the ping feature, and since it is used, Google does not require the use of the intermediary page. Firefox does not support it, and to track users, Google uses the intermediary page instead. Firefox users may check the value of the preference browser.send_pings on about:config. False means that the Ping feature is disabled, True that it is enabled. The Firefox add-on Don't track me Google has been designed to prevent Google from replacing link targets with intermediary pages on its properties. Once installed, links can be copied or clicked on, so that the intermediary tracking page does not get copied or loaded. The extension works automatically on the Google pages that it supports. It works on Google's main site but also on localized search domains. Tip: Chrome users who use Google Search can't disable the Ping in the browser as there is no option to do so. Extensions like uBlock Origin support blocking Ping on sites. Closing Words It takes more and more time to configure browsers to protect against tracking on the Internet. Users who don't want to be tracked may want to avoid Google Chrome and Google properties, and use third-party alternatives instead that offer better protection against tracking. For browsers, another Chromium-based browser, such as Vivaldi, or a non-Chromium-based browser, such as Firefox, may do. For search, Startpage, Brave Search or DuckDuckGo, are better options when it comes to tracking. Landing Page: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/dont-track-me-google1/ Don't track me Google for Firefox blocks links manipulations by Google when clicking or copying
  2. Vertigo Tabs is a simple vertical tabs extension for Firefox Having a lot of tabs open in Firefox and struggling to manage them is something that many users are all too familiar with. Other browsers, like Vivaldi with Tab Stacking, and Microsoft Edge with vertical tabs offer a much better experience or at least different options for organizing and switching between tabs. With Firefox however, you will need to rely on extensions to help you. Vertigo Tabs is a user-friendly sidebar add-on that you may want to try. Click the Show Sidebars button on the Firefox toolbar, to view the extension's interface. The add-on lists all tabs that are open in the current window. Left-click on a tab to switch the focus to it. You may drag and drop tabs to rearrange their location in the list. Unfortunately, Vertigo Tabs does not support drag and drop to open links quickly. The goal of the extension is to offer a simple experience, without any modifications to the settings. Translation, it has absolutely no buttons whatsoever. The biggest hurdle is probably to open and close tabs. You'll need to rely on keyboard shortcuts for these commands, or use the tab bar, which sort of negates the add-on's purpose. To close a tab in Vertigo Tabs, hover over one in the list and click the middle-mouse button. I recommend using it with an add-on like Undo Closed Tabs Button, it has a list of all the recently closed tabs, which can be useful in case you closed the wrong tab by mistake. Vertigo Tabs does not hide the tab bar, as a matter of fact no plugin can, due to limitations in the WebExtensions API. If you want to hide the tab bar, you must do so by editing/creating the userChrome.css file. Paste the following line in the document, and you are good to go. #TabsToolbar {visibility: collapse;} I'm sure advanced users will find ways to make it even better, perhaps by hiding the title bar for a more immersive experience. Speaking of which, Vertigo Tabs is a really cool way to access your tabs in full screen mode. The extension has no right-click menu, which means you cannot use it to manage your tabs, open new tabs, etc. It doesn't indicate whether a tab is related to a Firefox Container either, which may make it difficult for more tech-savvy users. Vertigo Tabs is an open source extension. I feel the add-on is a bit too simple, but that seems to be the plugin's goal. Still, I would have liked to have a search bar at the very least, that doesn't mess with any settings, and can help manage tabs more efficiently. The reason I found the add-on to be useful is because it lists the title of each tab, which makes it faster to switch between tabs without messing with the tab bar. If the extension doesn't tickle your fancy, Visual Tabs and Sidebar+ are a couple of alternatives add-ons that you be interested in. Personally, I think Simple Tab Groups is better, not only does it have a sidebar, it also has its own right-click menu and allows you to group tabs. If you just want to manage tabs without a sidebar, take a look at Tab Manager Plus. Landing page: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/vertigo-tabs/ Vertigo Tabs is a simple vertical tabs extension for Firefox
  3. Load tabs in batches with the Load Background Tabs Lazily extension for Firefox and Chrome When you start Firefox, the browser loads the last page that you accessed. The rest of the tabs from your previous session are available, but they aren't loaded until you click on them. You may edit a preference in about:config to make the browser open all the tabs, but this becomes a problem since Firefox will load everything at the same time. It would be better to have a few tabs to load, as it reduces the impact on your system. The Load Background Tabs Lazily extension helps you with this. The plugin was inspired by a legacy add-on called Load Tabs Progressively. Just like the original, the new extension can be configured to load a specific number of tabs automatically. You will need to enable the preference I mentioned for the add-on to work. Change the value of the following setting from true to false, browser.sessionstore.restore_on_demand There are a few more options that might interest you, which you can find on the official AMO page, along with an explanation for the permissions required by the add-on. Chrome users have it easy, just install the extension and it works out of the box. By default, Load Background Tabs Lazily only loads one page at a time. Click the add-on's button on the toolbar, and then on the "Open Options page". Set the value of the first option on the page, Maximum number of tabs to load concurrently, to a number from 1 to 5. Let's say we choose 3, and you have 12 tabs open when you exit the browser. When you re-open the browser, the extension will load three tabs, after which the rest are loaded in batches of 3. Switching to a non-loaded tab will force it to load, even if the previous one has not been loaded completely. Load Background Tabs Lazily also works with new tabs that you open, it is in fact the primary feature of the add-on. This can be very useful for people with a weaker computer. The extension's description is a bit tricky, it throws terms like Line, Discarded Tabs, Blocked Tabs, etc., without explaining what they are. The list of tabs that the extension handles at a time (3, in our example) is called a Line, it's kind of like queued tabs. Click the add-on's button to view its pop-up interface. The first option in the menu, can be used to pause or resume the tab loading queue. Tabs that have been paused are Blocked tabs. The 2nd option in the menu jumps between tabs that haven't been loaded or are stuck. Clear the Line discards the tabs that haven't been loaded, i.e. it stops the process instead of pausing it, but you can resume the Line by clicking Add Blocked Tabs. Session proof tabs (enabled from the add-on's settings) are those that will not be saved when you close the browser, nor can you use the undo close tab option. Discarded tabs are self-explanatory, I recommend toggling the option under the Discarded tabs setting, which enables a shortcut to the browser's context menu. Right-click on any page, and you'll be able to add it as a discarded tab to the Line. You can exclude websites from the lazy loading process, by entering the hostnames (URLs) in the box at the extension's Options page. While you are at it, you can customize the font type and colors used by the add-on. Load Background Tabs Lazily doesn't display a tab bar context menu by default, but you can enable it from the settings. This allows you to remove tabs from the line, reload the tabs or discard them, without using the add-on's interface. There is a way to limit the number of tabs that the add-on opens, you can turn it on in the Advanced Options page. Download the Load Background Tabs Lazily extension for Firefox and Chrome. The latter is in beta, and has fewer options. The description also mentions that the Chrome version may stop working when Google enforces the Manifest v3 API. The Firefox add-on isn't compatible with Temporary Containers, and a few other plugins that prevent lazy tab loading. The extension only works if the tab's URL begins with HTTP or HTTPS. The jargons in Load Background Tabs Lazily can be confusing, and the lack of a help file/tutorial makes the learning experience a bit complicated. I found the add-on handy while using it the Open Multiple URLs extension, that I reviewed recently. Landing Page: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/load-background-tabs-lazily/ Load tabs in batches with the Load Background Tabs Lazily extension for Firefox and Chrome
  4. View your browsing history in a nicer interface with the Better History extension for Firefox Firefox's history viewer is useful for viewing your browsing activity, I use it to find webpages that I visited previously, but cannot recall. Sometimes, I just type something relevant to the page in the address bar and hope to find a match. Better History is an extension for Firefox that offers a nicer interface to access your browsing history. The add-on is inspired by Vivaldi browser's history feature, which displays your internet activity on a calendar. Firefox's history manager allows you to filter the activity by the week, month, too, but the extension does a better job in presenting the content. Click the add-on's button and a new tab will open, this is Better History's GUI. The extension list the current date in the top left corner, and a list of all websites that you opened today. Each page has its title, favicon, and a timestamp next to it that tells you when you visited the particular page. The plugin also places a clickable link at the end of each line for your convenience, which you can use to open the corresponding site. The page will be loaded in a new tab. The drawback here is that you have to right-click precisely on the text that says "Link" or the icon next to it, to access the browser's link context-menu, i.e. open in new window, container tabs, etc. I feel that it would have been easier if the title had been clickable too. You may use the search bar at the top of the tab to find a specific page that you're looking for, it allows you to search pages by the title or the URL of the website. The add-on's default style is set to use the Day view, but Better History supports two more view modes; Week and Month. Click the buttons in the top right corner to switch to a different view. Unlike the Day view, Better History's Week and Monthly view modes do not display the timestamp besides each item that's listed. You can use the mouse wheel to scroll the list of pages that are listed in the Week and Month modes, or use the scroll bar that's displayed next to each week/month column. To view a specific date's activity, click on the header (date). The arrow buttons located near the top, are useful if you want to jump to the next or previous day, week or month. The button next to it toggles repeated visits, which is useful if you would like to include multiple visits to the same page in the history view. You cannot delete your browsing activity (web pages and sites) using the add-on, so you will need to rely on Firefox's history manager for that. Better History supports Dark Mode, but to use it, you will need to enable Windows 10's Dark Theme. The add-on does not have any options that you can customize. Download Better History for Firefox, it is an open source extension. The plugin does not support hotkeys, but I won't hold that against it, since the add-on is user-friendly. Landing Page: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/firefox-better-history/ View your browsing history in a nicer interface with the Better History extension for Firefox
  5. Auto Cookie Optout responds to cookie prompts automatically in Firefox Auto Cookie Optout is a new open source extension for Mozilla's Firefox web browser to respond to cookie prompts on sites automatically. Most sites display so-called cookie prompts, permissions to store cookies on your computer, when you load them in your browser. The prompts are annoying, especially if you visit a lot of sites regularly. Automation may reduce this particular annoyance, especially if you select "no" or the option with the lowest impact on your privacy all the time. Most web browsers support disabling third-party cookies, but the majority does not come with options to deal with cookie prompts automatically. Vivaldi is a notable exception to that. Auto Cookie Optout adds similar functionality to the Firefox web browser. It works similarly to Never Consent, which I reviewed last year. It responds to cookie prompts automatically, provided that it supports the script that the site uses. The GitHub page reveals that it works with cookie consent plugins such as TrustArc, Didomi and CookieBot that are widely used, on Google and Yahoo properties. Consent to save cookies on the device is denied if the script is known. Prompts are displayed just like before if a site uses an unsupported script to display the prompt. Good content blockers such as uBlock Origin may get rid of cookie popups as well. The developer notes that using content blockers may introduces issues, such as sites staying in a partially loaded state or remnants of the cookie popup remaining visible on the screen. The extension communications to the sites that you want to opt-out, and that may result in a better experience. The overall experience may be better, as everything is automated once you have installed the extension. Just visit the Auto Cookie Optout page on Mozilla Addons and click on the install button to install the extension in Firefox. Only an older version of the extension is available on the project's GitHub page. The source appears up to date, but the releases page lists an older version only. The extension needs permission to run on all sites, but that is clear since it will deal with the supported scripts on all sites that run them. Users with uBlock Origins need to install this filter list, which deals with a conflict. The extension has no preferences or options at this point in time. You may check the console of Firefox's Developer Tools, as automatic cookie opt-outs are echoed there. Closing Words If you are particularly annoyed by cookie consent prompts and popups, and you have not found a solution yet, you may find Auto Cookie Optout useful. Landing Page: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/auto-cookie-optout/ Auto Cookie Optout responds to cookie prompts automatically in Firefox
  6. Open Multiple URLs is an extension for Firefox and Chrome that can load several URLs in a couple of clicks When I want to open a lot of links at once, I don't like copying and pasting each one of them in a new tab. Why? Because this is something that an add-on can simplify: the one I've been using is called Open Multiple URLs. The name should tell you what it does, but I'll explain how it works. Click the add-on's button on the toolbar and a large pop-up panel will appear. Paste a list of URLs in the box, and hit the Open URLs button. The extension will open each link in a new tab, all it takes is two clicks and a paste hotkey. That saves you a bit of time. Remember, the add-on can only recognize one URL per line from the pasted content, so if your links are pasted like they're one paragraph, it won't work. Sometimes, when you try to copy a link from a webpage, your browser may include the text from the page as well. Open Multiple URLs will purge the text from the copied content, and presents you the URLs. To do this, paste the text in the add-on's interface, and click the Extract URLs from Text button at the bottom. This is very useful if you are saving the links for reference. Opening a bunch of tabs at the same time can be resource intensive, to avoid this, check the first option in the bottom left corner. This makes the extension create idle tabs, which will only load when you click on them. Open Multiple URLs works with Firefox containers, so any links leading to sites that you have assigned a container for will open in the container as usual. But there is no option to open all URLs in a specific container. Speaking of containers, Open Multiple URLs has a bug when you use it with the "load tabs when clicked" option enabled. e.g. If you have a Google container, and one of the pasted URLs contains a link to Google's website, the idle tab will appear on the tab bar like the rest of your tabs. But when you click the container tab, your browser will load the page in a different tab. That's how it's supposed to work. The problem is that the original tab (the inactive one) does not disappear after the link is loaded in the container tab, it gets stuck. So, if you close the 2nd tab, the add-on will create another tab automatically to open the link from the idle tab, and this will continue to happen until you close the original tab manually. This issue does not affect normal tabs (non-containers). The 2nd option in Open Multiple URLs' is a little odd, it loads the tabs in random order, kind of like the shuffle button in music players. Personally, I didn't find this useful, but maybe you will. Download Open Multiple URLs for Firefox and Chrome. The plugin is open source. I've been using this add-on regularly for a few weeks, and it has been a real life-saver to open several links from mails and chats. The extension does not support hotkeys, nor does it have a context-menu shortcut, both of which could make it easier and faster to open links. An option to load URLs in a specific container would be welcome too. Landing Page: https://github.com/htrinter/Open-Multiple-URLs/ Open Multiple URLs is an extension for Firefox and Chrome that can load several URLs in a couple of clicks
  7. Distract Me Not is a website blocker extension for Firefox Do you want to reduce your browsing time? Everyone has a favorite website or two where we spend a lot of time on, even when we are supposed to be studying or working. Just 5 more minutes, right? There are many ways to handle this and get back to being productive. Some may take a sabbatical from the sites. Instead of cutting off your relaxation time completely, you may want to restrict it to after work hours or something like that. It's easier to manage, like portion control as opposed to a diet. Distract Me Not is a website blocker that can help you get through your day while avoiding the time-wasting sites. Here's how the Firefox extension works. Click the add-on's button to view its interface. Toggle the button at the top to enable the extension. Distract Me Not starts in Blacklist mode, which basically means that it blocks some sites. The plugin is set to block three websites by default; YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. If you don't want to block these, go to the Blacklist settings and delete them from the blocker. We'll get to this in a bit. First, let's block a website. Visit the domain that you want to block. Open the add-on's UI, and hit the + button to add the current website to the blacklist. Try loading the page again, and you'll see a message that reads "Where are you going...". It's a nice reminder to stay productive. There are two more modes in Distract Me Not's. The Whitelist mode only allows you to access the websites that you have added to the list. It's sort of like a parental control mode, because you can't go to other sites. So, how do you add a website to the whitelist? It's the same process, hit the plus button when in the whitelist mode. The third blocking method that the add-on offers is Combined mode, you guessed it. When this mode is active, the add-on will not only block the sites from the blacklist, but also limit you to the whitelisted domains. Personally, I think it's overkill, but it may be useful for you. Go to Distract Me Not's settings page and click the Blacklist tab, to view all sites that you have prevented access to. You can remove or add domains from this screen, and it supports wildcard matching for subdomains. The Whitelist has a similar settings screen. The first tab in the settings, called Blocking, has a couple of options that you can define. Choose how you want the add-on to block sites, whether to just prevent access to the site, or to redirect you to a different page, or to close the tab. You can set a custom message to be displayed when the add-on blocks a site, or for a minimal experience, check the option below the text box to display a blank page. If you want to access the blocked sites for some reason, you can toggle unblocking option. It also has a timeout setting, and a password requirement which can help dissuade you from revoking the restriction. The built-in scheduler, when configured, will block sites during a specified number of hours of your choice. This can be useful if you're working on regular hours, and don't want to be distracted, but want to visit the blocked sites at the end of the day. Set a password to prevent unauthorized changes to the add-on's settings. Once you set a password, you will be prompted to enter it every time you click the add-on's button. And you'll need to enter it twice if you want to access the settings page, which is kind of annoying. The clock icon in the add-on's modal displays a log of the sites that were blocked by the add-on. You can sort the list by name, date, and clear the log's history. This isn't foolproof, the password protection can be bypassed entirely by disabling the add-on from Firefox's extensions management. But you aren't going to do that, are you? My point is, it's not an effective parental control solution. Distract Me Not is an open source extension. A context-menu to block and unblock sites would help manage the extension faster. Landing Page: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/distract-me-not/ Distract Me Not is a website blocker extension for Firefox
  8. Improve the audio muting capabilities of your browser with Smart Mute Smart Mute is a browser extension for Google Chrome that extends the audio muting functionality of the browser. While designed for Chrome, it does install and work fine in other Chromium-based browsers such as Microsoft Edge. Chrome users have one default option when it comes to controlling audio in the browser. A right-click on a tab displays the context menu option "mute site" which stops audio playback for the entire site. Google changed the option some years ago from muting individual tabs to muting the entire site. Extensions such as Tab Muter may be used to bring back tab muting in Chrome. Note: The extension mutes audio, but it does not interfere with playback. Firefox users may want to check out our guide on muting all sites by default in Firefox. Smart Mute for Chrome Smart Mute falls in the same category, but it extends the functionality further by adding whitelist and blacklist options, a silent mode for the browser, and options to exclude pinned tabs. The extension adds its icon to the main toolbar of the browser after installation. It does not request any extra permissions during install, but will do so when you start to use the whitelist/blacklist feature. If you don't use it, the extra permission is not required. You manage and control the extension through its icon. Select it to display its interface; there you find options to mute the active tab in the browser. Other webpages of the same site are not muted when you use the feature, which means that Chrome's original feature is restored by the extension. A mute icon is displayed in the tab but you cannot interact with it as it is not powered by the extension, but by Chrome itself. Besides individual tab muting, Smart Mute supports a feature that it calls Silent Mode. If you prefer to mute all audio in the browser, you may use Silent Mode for that. It mutes every audio playback in the browser, and may be useful in some situations. While you may also mute audio of individual programs using operating system features, using the option directly in the browser may be easier. Silent Mode can be combined with the extension's other options. Pinned tabs can be excluded, so that audio will play in these tabs. The Whitelist/Blacklist feature works well together with Silent Mode as well. Whitelist a site to allow it to play audio, even with Silent Mode enabled. Closing Words Smart Mute is a useful extension for users of Chromium-based web browsers who want more control over the audio muting functionality. Now You: do you use muting functionality or extensions? Landing Page: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/smart-mute/apadglapdamclpaedknbefnbcajfebgh/related Improve the audio muting capabilities of your browser with Smart Mute
  9. NelliTab is a highly customizable new tab extension for Firefox and Chrome Not everyone likes the default new tab page in the browser, because it's boring. Besides, why use that when you can add speed-dials of your choice. NelliTab is a highly customizable new tab extension for Firefox and Chrome. Before using it, the add-on displays a message asking you to set a root folder for it. Click the banner, and scroll to the bottom of the side panel. Select a bookmark folder, I recommend creating a new folder for the add-on. You can add multiple root folders. Since the folder is empty, we have to add some shortcuts to get started. Right-click on the bookmarks panel and NelliTab's context-menu will appear. Click on the New Bookmark option, and enter the URL of the site. The add-on does not name the shortcut automatically, so you have to rename each one manually. Hit the enter button and the extension will assign an icon for the dial. This works for some services like YouTube, Twitter, etc. If the website's icon isn't found, you can upload (assign) an image file. Use the new folder option to create a new sub-directory in the current folder. You can rearrange the shortcuts by clicking and dragging a bookmark to a new location. To rearrange the folders, mouse over it, and click and drag the move button. Hold the shift key and mouse over a folder to enter edit mode. This is useful for selecting multiple shortcuts, and editing them. If you have a lot of dials and are having trouble finding a specific site, use the search tool in the top right corner. Open the add-ons settings page by clicking the gear icon in the corner. There are a ton of options here. Enable permissions for the Top Sites, History and Downloads sections, and the add-on will add shortcuts for each site in those folders. You may revoke these permissions with a click, if you change your mind. NelliTab comes with over a dozen themes to choose from. If you don't like those, change the colors (background, foreground border), the font type, size and toggle the visual elements to create a custom theme. The extension also supports wallpapers, so if you can set an image as the speed-dial page's background. The icon style is customizable as well. The add-on has some animations for the mouse hover effect, these are disabled by default, but you can switch them on if you want to. The add-on opens the selected bookmark in the same tab, but you can set it to load the website in a new tab, background tab or a new window. Enabling captions displays a favicon below the dial. Backup and restore NelliTab's settings, so you don't have to start over. Download NelliTab for Firefox and Chrome. The add-on is not open source, but it does not display ads, or syncs your content with a server and the privacy policy is good. The extension does not require registration for an account either. Overall, I think it is a good extension. Since it relies on bookmarks folders, there is obviously no way to add a website to the dial from the context menu. The plugin's icon search is a hit-and-miss for some sites. I would have liked an option use the favicons or a thumbnail of the webpage as the speed-dial's image. Landing Page: https://nellitab.io/ NelliTab is a highly customizable new tab extension for Firefox and Chrome
  10. Browse YouTube from a side panel with the Sidebar for YouTube extension for Opera and Firefox Picture-in-Picture mode is useful if you want to watch videos while you browse. Both Firefox and Opera support PiP, and some of you may be using it for that purpose. One of the shortcomings of the mode is that some functionality needs to be performed in the YouTube browser tab, as the functionality is not available in the PiP window. What about browsing YouTube when you're on other sites? Sidebar for YouTube is an extension for Opera and Firefox, that makes it possible to access the video service from a convenient side panel. The add-on does not have a dedicated button in Firefox; to access it you will need to click the open sidebar button on the browser's toolbar. You can use it without signing into your account. The add-on lists the most popular videos, but let's face it, these are usually videos that you may not be interested in. Signing in to your account allows you to access all of YouTube's features such as your subscriptions, playlists, history, etc. The add-on does not support YouTube music. The toolbar at the top of the sidebar has a few buttons that you may like. It has a back and forward button on either side of the toolbar, the home button takes you to YouTube's main page. Click the pop out button at the top to open the site in a new tab. The only thing that's missing in the sidebar is an option to load a YouTube URL. Sidebar for YouTube is not compatible with Firefox Containers, so even if you have a Google container and are signed in to your account in it, the side panel plugin will not recognize it. As a matter of fact, clicking sign in did nothing with Firefox Containers installed. If you don't use containers or use Opera, and are signed in to YouTube, you will be logged in the sidebar too. The Opera extension has a refresh button at the top of the panel, which is useful and something that the Firefox plugin lacks. The settings button takes you to the add-on's options, of which there are just two. The extension uses mobile view to load the videos, but you may switch to desktop view from the settings page. Sidebar for YouTube blocks ads by default, you can toggle this behavior from the settings page. The bad news is the ad-blocker is very inconsistent. Sometimes it would block the ads, but it failed way too many times. The add-on's settings page mentions that its ad-blocker only blocks basic ads, and that using a third party ad-blocker is advised. Switching to desktop mode blocks the ads in the sidebar, and though it is inconsistent too, I think it had better results than mobile view. Sadly, that only applies to Firefox, as the desktop mode doesn't work in Opera browser, which has the view enabled by default. So, if you see an error message that says "ERR_BLOCKED_BY_RESPONSE", go to the add-on's settings page and uncheck the 2nd option. However, the plugin fails to block ads even with uBlock Origin installed. Just to clarify, uBlock Origin has no problem in blocking the ads on the YouTube website. Even Opera's built-in ad-blocker works perfectly on the site. It does make me wonder if Sidebar for YouTube is facing a problem with ads similar to what Opera had until the recent update. If you have a YouTube premium subscription, ads aren't going to be an issue for you. Download Sidebar for YouTube for Firefox and Opera. I feel that the add-on would be impressive if the ad-blocker problem, and the sign in issue with Firefox Containers is fixed. Landing Page: https://mybrowseraddon.com/youtube-sidebar.html Browse YouTube from a side panel with the Sidebar for YouTube extension for Opera and Firefox
  11. Select multiple tabs of the same site with just two-clicks with the Select Tabs extension for Firefox Tab Management extensions are handy when you want to switch between tabs, find a specific one, organize them, etc. Things get slightly difficult if you want to select several tabs from the same domain. Select Tabs is a new Firefox extension that helps you select multiple tabs of the same site, with just two-clicks. With the add-on installed, right-click on a tab, and you should see a new menu item called Select Tabs. It has its own sub-menu, mouse over it to view the list. The first option, Same site, when clicked upon will automatically select all tabs belonging to the same domain (and subdomain). So, if you have a hundred tabs, and 15 of those were from YouTube and are in different locations on the tab bar. Click on one of those and choose Same Site, and the add-on will automatically pick the other 14. When the tabs are selected you can perform various actions like move tabs, close them, bookmark the tabs, etc., anything that you can use from Firefox's tab context menu. The extension has a total of 10 selection options. Let's take a quick tour of what the other menu items. Same Site and Descendants will not only highlight all tabs belonging to the same website, but all subsequent pages that you visited through them, e.g. you opened Google, looked up a product and opened its site, and you had more Google tabs. The add-on will select all of those including the landing pages in one go. Same Site Cluster is a bit different. Let's use the same example, you have five tabs that are from the same site. Three of those are adjacent to one another, while the others have at least one tab between them and the other three. Same Site Cluster will only select the neighboring tabs, so in this case the two tabs that are further away will not be selected. The next two options are To the Left, and To the Right, as their names indicate they select tabs to the left or the right of the current tab. The last five options in Select Tabs belong to the same group. A Parent tab is the starting page which you used to open a different tab, e.g. open link in new tab. When you use the Parent tab menu item, the extension will ignore the tab you right-clicked on, and select the original one, aka the Parent. If you want to select both tabs, use the Parent and Descendants option. What if you opened several tabs from a Parent tab? Those would be sibling tabs, and the other three options in the add-on may be used to select only the Sibling Tabs or Descendant tabs, or both of those. Select Tabs is compatible with Firefox Containers, and can select Parent, Sibling and Descendant tabs even if they belong to different containers. To deselect all tabs, just click on any tab, and you can start over. Select Tabs is an open source project. The terminology is a bit confusing, but once you understand the concept, it all makes sense. The add-on does not support proper keyboard shortcuts, you will need to right-click on the tab bar, and tap the S key (multiple times), use the arrow key and then tap the key that corresponds to the first letter of the menu option. That's not convenient. Landing Page: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/select-tabs/ Select multiple tabs of the same site with just two-clicks with the Select Tabs extension for Firefox
  12. Browse historic versions of websites with the Vandal extension Vandal is an open source browser extension for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and compatible browsers to browser historic versions of websites. The extension uses the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine database for the functionality, and provides better functionality than the Internet Archive's own browser extension. Note that you may look up individual websites or pages on the Wayback Machine's website directly, without having to install a browser extension. Vandal improves the usability of the process significantly though for some use cases. Viewing archived copies of a site has several use cases. You can compare a previous saved copy with another one, or restore deleted or inaccessible content. Once you have installed the extension in a supported browser, you may activate it by pressing its button in the browser's toolbar after loading a site. The address of the site or page is displayed and another tap on the "load" button next to it displays a date selector. You may use it right away in the calendar view mode or switch to the graph view that you see on the screenshot below. The graph view displays all website captures in chronological order divided into year, month and day. Hover over any day and select one of the available captures to load that version of the site in the browser. Use the back and forward buttons to switch to another archived version of the site, or the reload button to reload the current version. Any link that you open on the site is loaded as an archived version as well, if available. The extension uses the historic copy that is closest to the selected date. Snapshots should be available for many popular sites on the Internet, but there is no guarantee that one exists. Select the "show timestamps" button to split the interface in half. The bottom half displays timestamps of elements that are loaded on the page. Vandal has another interesting feature besides that. Select the menu icon and there the historical view option to display year-based thumbnails. For Ghacks, Vandal displayed 17 thumbnails, one of each year starting with the very first in 2005. Snapshot generation is throttled to avoid overloading the Internet Archive's servers. It may take several minutes before all snapshots are displayed in the interface. The feature may not have much practical use, but it is interesting to see how a website or page changed throughout the years. Closing Words Vandal is an interesting open source browser extension that has several useful applications. Users may use it to display pages that are not there anymore or won't load at the time, webmasters to check out previous versions of a page or to restore an article or content that has been lost, e.g. in a server crash. Landing Page https://github.com/vegetableman/vandal Source: Browse historic versions of websites with the Vandal extension
  13. Create tab groups, stash and unload tabs in Firefox with Tiled Tab Groups When you have dozens of tabs open, it becomes difficult to find a specific tab. You may not even need some of those, and yet they are open. Tab Groups are a great way to organize your tabs, and the Tiled Tab Groups extension makes them easy to manage. Install the add-on, and press F2 to access its sidebar. You'll only have one group now. Click on a tab to switch to it. Firefox will tell you that the extension has hidden your tabs, the add-on doesn't. The reason you see this message is that Tiled Tab Groups uses the Tab Hide API to provide access to the tab lists, so you can ignore the warning. Let's create a new tab group. Right-click on a tab and select Move Tab to Group, and select move tab to a new group. This adds a second list, aka your new group. To move multiple tabs at the same time, hold down the Ctrl or Shift key while selecting the tabs. You can also do this by drawing a box around the list. You can rename a group by clicking on its title. Tiled Tab Groups allows you to reorder the tabs with a click and drag, this also works for moving tabs between groups. Left-click on the Tiled Tab Groups button on the toolbar, and a pop-up appears, this modal displays a list of your tab groups. Select a group to switch to it, and the extension will hide all the other tabs without closing them. The + button at the end of a tab group's list opens a new tab in that group. Use the right-click menu for accessing Firefox's tab bar options. Switch between the dark and light themes from Tiled Tab Groups' settings. You may assign a shortcut for accessing the pop-up panel and switching between groups. I recommend setting these, as it makes the switching process faster. Enable the option to unload tabs, and the add-on will discard them when you jump to another group. Tab Stashing is similar but unloads the tabs in the group and saves the tab session, you can access the stash from the pop-up or the sidebar. Tiled Tab Groups has a feature called "Tab Catch", which detects the URL of a tab and automatically sends it to a specific group. You can use wildcards to detect domains and subdomains like ghacks.net, google.com etc. Here's how it works. Click on new rule button, and a text box and some options will appear. Let's say I want all ghacks tabs to open in a tab group which I created. I enter ghacks.net in the box, check the box for Test URL, and select the "Work" option from the tab group menu. So, when I try to open a page which has ghacks.net in the UTL, the extension will automatically move the tab to the group I assigned in the rule. The Test Title option will check the wildcard to see if the tab's title matches it, and then moves the tab. This can help you organize your tabs without the manual effort. Alternatively, you can use regular expressions are used to filter sites. Advanced users who wish to theme the sidebar and pop-up, can paste their CSS code in the add-on's settings page. Tiled Tab Groups is an open source add-on. The add-on is compatible with Tree Style Tab (you don't need it to use the former). Landing Page https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/tiled-tab-groups/ Source: Create tab groups, stash and unload tabs in Firefox with Tiled Tab Groups
  14. View and access your recently closed tabs with the Undo Closed Tabs Button extension for Firefox and Chrome Did you know that Firefox has a hotkey to reopen a closed tab? Press Ctrl + Shift + T and the tab comes back. This can be a lifesaver, but if you close several tabs, and then realize you need one of them back, that's when it becomes a problem. You have to keep using the keyboard shortcut several times, until you get the tab you wanted, or you could open the recently closed tabs folder in the browsing history. Besides being unable to see the list of closed tabs, there's also the added task of having to close the other reopened tabs. So much for convenience, that's quite a hassle, right? I reviewed an extension called Undo Close Tab, which makes the task simpler. Undo Closed Tabs Button is a similar extension, but with more features and in my opinion, a much better menu. Install the add-on and click its button, and the menu pops-out. I'll compare the two extensions, to explain why I think the newer one is better. Undo Closed Tabs Button's pop-up menu does not have an extended context-menu with Firefox's toolbar options, like the other extension. Though the menu is similar in size, the plugin doesn't waste any of the space. Undo Closed Tabs Button displays all 25 tabs in one go, without a sub-menu. The add-on's tab menu lacks one important option, open in Container tab. I don't think it might be possible to add support for that, since add-ons cannot access the settings of other add-ons. That being said, the extension does reopen a closed tab in the container it was opened in. The vertical tab list in Undo Closed Tabs Button has the favicon and tab-title. You can open all closed tabs with a single-click, using the button in the bottom left corner. Or, if you want to discard them, hit the 2nd button, Forget all the closed items. The Chrome version of the extension has a shortcut that takes you to your browsing history. You know, the chrome://history tab. The gear icon takes you to Undo Closed Tabs Button's settings. The option labeled, "Number of tab sessions to be displayed", doesn't actually refer to your sessions, rather it is related to the number of tabs to be listed in the pop-up menu. The default value is 25, so it displays a total of 25 recently closed tabs, in chronological order. You can set it to a higher value if you don't like scrolling through the list. The only other setting on the page allows you to change the font size of the tab titles. Download Undo Closed Tabs Button for Firefox and Chrome. I couldn't find a Git repo for Undo Closed Tabs Button, so if you want to check its source code, you'll have to analyze the XPI manually. The other add-on, Undo Close Tab does not have a right-click menu at all., but the context menu in Undo Closed Tabs Button is kind of worse. It would have been better if the add-on displayed Firefox's tab bar menu, but instead it has the Page context menu, which is of no use to us. Every option listed in the menu applies to the extension's pop-up panel, and not the tab that you right-clicked on. e.g. If you click on View Page Source, you expect to see the webpage's code, instead the add-on will open a tab with the code of the menu. Maybe that's harsh, but I think it was worth mentioning, and hope it's just a placeholder. I would've liked a search bar in the menu, it could make finding tabs a bit easier. Landing Page https://mybrowseraddon.com/undo.html Source: View and access your recently closed tabs with the Undo Closed Tabs Button extension for Firefox and Chrome
  15. Hide Twitter Trends and other sidebar suggestions Twitter displays a sidebar with regional trends and other suggestions when you use the service's web version. Some Twitter users may find these useful, others that it is a distraction or not of interest. Trends usually list politics, music or sports topics, and that is fine for some Twitter users. If you never use the trends, or find yourself distracted by them, you may want to hide them on Twitter. Thankfully, there are extensions out there that let you do that. If you do use a content blocker, you may also use it to block the content on Twitter, so that you don't have to install an extra extension just for that. Depending on the browser that you are using, you may find Hide Twitter Trends (Chromium-based) or Hide Twitter Trends (Firefox-based) useful. Hide Twitter Trends for Chromium-based browsers If you don't like the Twitter `What’s happening`, `Who to follow`, and `Topics to follow` tabs, and you want to hide it this extension is your solution, this extension will hide Twitter `What’s happening`, `Who to follow`, and `Topics to follow` tabs from Twitter web app and let you focus on your timeline. Hide Twitter Trends is a free browser extension for Chromium-based browsers such as Google Chrome, Brave, Microsoft Edge, Opera or Vivaldi. The extension requires access to Twitter but no extra permissions besides that. Once installed, Twitter's sidebar is reduced to offering a search at the top, user-specific content, and the official Twitter links to the privacy policy and other site areas. The extension touches the sidebar only, all other areas on Twitter remain untouched. Hide Twitter Trends for Firefox This extension hides the Trends widget shown on the side of certain Twitter views, such as the timeline and notifications. You can still view the stand-alone Trends page, if you want. The add-on has the same name as the extension for Chromium-based browsers, but it is maintained by another developer. The functionality is identical to the Chromium-based extension: it hides trends and other suggestive sidebar content on Twitter once it has been installed. Hide Twitter Trends works directly after it has been installed in the Firefox web browser. Just like its Chrome pendant, it is hiding trends, who to follow and other contents with suggestions in Twitter's sidebar. Closing Words Both extensions work automatically and work identically. Trends are still accessible on the trends page, but no longer in the sidebar. Source: Hide Twitter Trends and other sidebar suggestions
  16. Manage your Firefox tabs, unload them from memory, with the Tab Center Reborn extension The problem with having one too many tabs in a web browser, is not the impact on performance for many. I'd say its actually finding the tab to switch to. Scrolling through the tab bar doesn't make things any easier. That's why I like the vertical tabs panel in Microsoft Edge and Vivaldi, its convenient. Tab Center Reborn gives you a simple way to manage your Firefox tabs, from a sidebar. The web extension is a fork of the discontinued Tab Center Redux add-on. Hit the plugin's button on the toolbar, and Tab Center Reborn will list your tabs in a sidebar. Instead of just displaying a favicon, the add-on also includes a thumnbail of the page, along with the tab's title and URL. Click on a tab to switch to it, or drag-and-drop tabs to rearrange the order. The + button in the top left corner opens a new tab. Right-click on a tab to access the usual tab bar options. There are a couple of new items that the extension adds. Unload tab discards the tab from the memory, you can't use it for a tab that is in focus, i.e. the current tab, so you'll need to switch to a different one to discard a tab. Note: I use the Auto Tab Discard add-on which unloads inactive tabs automatically. I disabled it while testing Tab Center Reborn's unloader, and while it functions the same way, I think the automated option is much better than the manual one. The other tab menu item that Tab Center Reborn brings is "Close Tabs Before", I think this is just as useful as Firefox's built-in Close Tabs After option. The extension supports Firefox Containers, and highlights them with their corresponding colored line, which is displayed to the left of the tab. But this isn't perfect, the container indicator only appears for the current tab, when you switch to another tab, the line disappears from the previous tab. The tab preview changes if you have many tabs open. Let's say you have 14 tabs, you will see the normal preview with the page thumbail, favicon, URL and title. Opening another tab triggers the add-on's dynamic mode, which hides the thumbnail and URL, so only the title and favicon are displayed. Tab Center Reborn does this to allow more tabs to be displayed in the list. If you find this annoying, head to the add-on's options and disable the option that is labeled Compact Mode. This forces the extension to always display the tab preview, but also makes it a tad difficult to find your tabs as you'll have to scroll the list. Use the search bar to find tabs quickly, this is a great way to jump to a specific site if you have dozens of sites open. Tab Center Reborn is an open source extension. I tested the custom CSS Tweaks listed on the official wiki, and the ones that cab be enabled in the add-on's built-in stylesheet works fine. I was also able to hide Firefox's tab bar using the userChrome.CSS file, but none of the other userChrome Tweaks to customize extension worked for me. Maybe it's my fault, anyway that is something for advanced users may be interested in. Landing Page https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/tabcenter-reborn/ Source: Manage your Firefox tabs, unload them from memory, with the Tab Center Reborn extension
  17. Save WebP images as JPG or PNG with this Firefox extension You may have come across an image format known as WebP, it has been around for about a decade now. This image container was developed by Google, and is used by many websites, including shopping portals. The annoying thing about WebP is, not a lot of image editors support the format. So, when you download a WebP image you may have some difficulty using it. You can't save it into a different format directly, but there are a couple of workarounds. The simplest way, which I had been using until recently, is to copy the image to the clipboard, paste it in an image editor, and then save it in a different format. That's not exactly convenient but it works. Recently, I came across an add-on called Save WebP as PNG or JPEG (Converter). The extension has been really useful for me, and I mentioned it in my article about Firefox 88. But first, here's an example screenshot where I tried to save an image, it was in the WebP format. Save WebP as PNG or JPEG however, allowed me to get the image in different formats and resolutions. That's cool. So, how do we use it? Once installed, the extension can be accessed from the browser's page context menu, it's labeled, Save webP as. Right-click on an image, select Save WebP as, and a number of options will appear over the image. These include options to choose the format you want to save the picture as, you can pick PNG, JPG (100% quality, or 92/85/80/75%), and GIF. The add-on saves the images in its own folder inside your default Firefox download directory. e.g. C:\Users\Ashwin\Downloads\Save_webP. Click the i button in the extension's overlay, to view information about the picture such as the image URL, dimensions, type, size, and alternate text. Hit the Setitng s button to go to the add-on's options page. Save WebP's default behavior is as follows. A single click of the context menu item shows the button bar (overlay). Shift + click will save the image in the PNG format, while Ctrl + click saves it as a 92% JPG. You may customize the click-behavior, by setting a different option. It only lets you choose between PNG, and the various JPG qualities, so GIF is not supported. The overlay's buttons can be disabled if you find any of them irrelevant. You can set the file name rules for Save WebP as, it can include the download date, time, site name, and image server name while saving the image. Note: Sometimes the Save WebP context menu item did nothing, but this issue occurred when I tried using it along with the behind! add-on. I think the reason why it didn't work in this scenario, was because behind! uses its own local tab to load the images, and not the server's page, so the WebP extension couldn't access the image directly. There is a workaround for this too, right-click on the picture, select open image in new tab, and the add-on will offer a way to save the image. Save webP as PNG or JPEG is an open source extension. There is an optional add-on from the same developer, called "Don't Accept image/webp", which tells your browser to not load images in the WebP format. The issue with this companion add-on is that it breaks websites at times, the server may not send any image at all, and since webP is blocked. Fortunately, the extension's button acts a toggle (global, not per site), which you can use to circumvent the issue. Landing Page https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/save-webp-as-png-or-jpeg/ Source: Save WebP images as JPG or PNG with this Firefox extension
  18. Acid Tabs adds rule-based auto tab groups to Google Chrome Google introduced support for tab groups in the Chrome browser in 2020, a feature , designed to improve the manageability of tabs in the company's browser. Tab Groups enable users to bundle tabs together for better visual distinction. The ability to collapse tab groups was added as well to free up space on the browser's tab bar. Google is testing auto-create functionality and other feature add-ons currently to improve the functionality further. Acid Tabs is a new browser extension for Google Chrome that adds rule-based automatic tab groups creation to the Chrome browser. The extension comes with several presets, for mail, news, entertainment and social; sites that match rules are grouped automatically. The entertainment group groups reddit, youtube and pinterest pages by default. All default presets can be edited or deleted, and it is possible to create custom presets for auto tab group creations. Creating a new group is simple. Just click on the plus-icon in the extension's interface, pick a custom name and color, and add URL patterns. Patterns can be partial, e.g. ghacks or google, or complete, e.g. https://www.ghacks.net/. You may add multiple patterns by separating each with a space character. The pattern youtube twitch netflix would group all sites that match the partial patterns together. Once you have done that, you will notice that all matching sites open in Chrome are moved into the new tab group. New sites that match a pattern are moved to the group automatically when they are opened in the web browser. The extension uses priorities to determine groups to avoid conflicts if multiple patterns match a site that is open in Chrome. The groups may be collapsed to free up room on the browser's tab bar. Groups are stored between sessions and remain in use whenever Chrome is opened. The extension comes with a collapse all button to collapse all tab groups in one swift operation. Closing Words Acid Tabs is a useful browser extension for Google Chrome that improves the browser's native tab grouping feature further. Patterns are easily created to group sites automatically in Chrome, and everything else is handled in the background by the extension and the browser. Chrome users who open lots of tabs in the browser may benefit from the extension the most, those who like things in orderly fashion may like it as well. Landing Page https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/acid-tabs/hgceopemmcmigbmhphbcgkeffommpjfc/related?hl=en Source: Acid Tabs adds rule-based auto tab groups to Google Chrome
  19. How to access the old PlayStation Store to browse, download and buy games and DLC Late last year, Sony announced that it would remove access to classic PlayStation games and add-ons from the official PlayStation Store. Systems affected were the Sony PlayStation 3, The PlayStation Vita, and the Sony PSP. Sony customers could not purchase games and add-ons for these systems anymore on the PlayStation Store, and Sony rolled out a new Store interface that did not list supported games or add-ons for these classic systems anymore. PlayStation 3, Vita and PSP users can still use the PlayStation Store on their devices to make purchase. Sony planned to remove the Store from the devices in the Summer of 2021, but announced this week that the Stores will remain accessible on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. Only the PSP Store will be retired on July 2, 2021 as announced previously. PlayStation 3 and Vita users who prefer to use a web browser to access the Store may continue to do so, courtesy of the Firefox add-on Valkyrie PS Store. The extension loads the classic Store front when the main Store URL https://store.playstation.com/en-us/home/games is accessed. The display alone would not be of much use, but most of the original functionality is retained at this point. Users may sign-in to their accounts to browse their download lists, browse available games, demos, apps, and add-ons, and even make purchases. PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PSP and PlayStation Vita games are listed and may be purchased. While not mentioned, it is likely that the ability to buy PSP games will cease to work when the Store is retired officially by Sony. Fans have criticized Sony for its plans to remove older PlayStation version Store access, mainly because it would have the result that some games and add-ons would no longer be available, as they may have been released digitally only, and because it would prevent gamers from purchasing add-ons for already purchased games. The browser extension is only available for Firefox. Users who don't use Firefox as their main browser may download and use a portable version of the browser with the extension to access the classic PlayStation Store. Landing Page https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/valkyrie-ps-store/ Source: How to access the old PlayStation Store to browse, download and buy games and DLC
  20. Custom Scrollbars is a Firefox and Chrome extension that lets you set the color and width of the scrollbar Do you like customizing your web browser? A lot of people use themes to give the browser a new look. Some take it up a notch and use a custom CSS file, to make it unique. Most themes don't change all elements of the interface, especially the scrollbar. Custom Scrollbars is a Firefox and Chrome extension that lets you set the color and width of the scrollbar. Custom Scrollbars will not change the color of the bars by default. Go to the add-on's options page, and toggle the Yes button under "Use Custom Colors". A couple of new setting should appear, these allow you to set the color of the scrollbar's thumb (the bar that you click and drag) and the track. The settings page has a Live Preview section that shows you what the scrollbar looks like, it's an interactive demo, so try it before applying the changes. There are two ways to set the shade, either use the color wheel to pick the gradient, or enter a specific Hex color code in the box. The two sliders next to the wheel can be used to adjust the hue and the transparency of the scroll bar and track. If you want to revert to the default colors, disable the custom color option. Doing so however makes the add-on forget the previous color settings. You can optionally modify the scrollbar's width with this add-on, but it doesn't let you set the values manually. Instead, there are three values, Default, Thin, and Hidden. The thin setting makes the scrollbar about a third of the original's size. The other option doesn't just hide the bar, it removes it entirely, i.e. try clicking the edge with the mouse, the page will not scroll. But you can still use the mouse wheel, arrow keys, Page Up/Down keys to scroll a page. Custom Scrollbar has an option to control how websites can override your settings, you can prevent sites from doing so entirely. Or, you can let the websites change only the color or just the width or both options. It worked on all websites that I tried it with. The add-on's description mentions that it on does not work with Facebook, and is a known issue. When I tried it on Facebook, it worked, so the description is probably outdated. Don't forget to hit the save button at the bottom of the extension's settings page, to apply the modifications you made. I had no issues using the add-on with different themes either. The only problem I had with it was on Twitter, where the colored bars appeared in different sections of the site, but that was because I'm using a script (GoodTwitter2), the normal site works fine with Custom Scrollbars. Custom Scrollbars is an open source add-on. Download it for Firefox and Chrome. The latter was released recently, but works just as well as the Firefox plugin. The add-on does not offer a way to allow specific websites to use their own scrollbar, nor can you set a custom color on a per-website basis, but that's just me nitpicking. Trouble finding the right color that goes with your theme? Use a color picker tool like ColorMania to help you find the color code of any element on the screen. Landing Page https://github.com/WesleyBranton/Custom-Scrollbar/ Source: Custom Scrollbars is a Firefox and Chrome extension that lets you set the color and width of the scrollbar
  21. Perfect Home is a Firefox and Chrome extension that lists your bookmarks as speed-dials in new tabs Speed Dials are a must-have feature for me in any browser that I use. While I prefer Group Speed Dial for my regular usage, I often jump through other add-ons every month or so to test them. That's how I landed with my current choice, Perfect Home. This is not your usual speed dial add-on, in that you can't add dials on your new tab page directly. Rather, Perfect Home uses your browser's bookmarks folders and displays them like speed dials. It's not the first add-on to do so. The extension lists your bookmark folders, as well as web shortcuts that you have in the main folder. By default, this should be the Bookmarks Menu directory, but you can set a custom main folder from the add-on's settings. Clicking on a folder in Perfect Home's interface lists its contents, and selecting a shortcut takes you to the corresponding web-page, just as a bookmark should. Right-click on a dial to open it in a new tab, background tab, new window, and copy the URL. Browsing through folders is a bit cumbersome, and kind of the opposite of what a speed-dial does. So I'd suggest adding your favorite sites to the primary Bookmarks folder or Docked Folders, which I'll explain in a bit, this will allow you to access them much faster. If you don't want to clutter the folder with many shortcuts, you can use the plugin's built-in search function to find a specific site. You can edit a bookmark's dial, and enter a different title and URL. You can also set a custom thumbnail from a file or the web. But you can't change the bookmark's location, i.e. move it to a different location. This is a limitation in the browser, so you'll need to use Firefox's bookmark manager for modifying the shortcuts. Let's take a look at Perfect Home's settings, click on the gear cog button in the top-right corner, and a menu should appear. We have already seen what the main folder setting is for, the next option is Docked Folders. Click on the button, and select the folder that you'd like to add. It will appear in the bottom of the window, click on it and it pops-out to list its contents. Perfect Home allows you to customize the color of the background and the text, grid width, gap, tile size, width, etc. You can toggle an option to open links in a new tab. Advanced users can use a custom CSS script too. There are a couple of privacy toggles in the add-on's settings panel, enabling these options allows the add-on to fetch favicons using Google, and themes from GitHub. To switch to a different theme, head back to the Customize menu, there are just 4 themes to choose from, but you can always tweak the settings manually. The extension has a built-in import and export tool, that you can use to back up your preferences. Want to start over? Hit the Reset button, and the settings will be reverted to the default values. Perfect Home is an open source add-on. Download it for Firefox and Chrome. I don't like the default color of the menu and the docked folder, they are not exactly easy on the eyes. Landing Page https://github.com/perfect-things/perfect-home Source: Perfect Home is a Firefox and Chrome extension that lists your bookmarks as speed-dials in new tabs
  22. Customize your new tab page with random wallpapers, quotes with the Mue extension for Firefox and Chrome I like to spruce up my desktop with a new wallpaper now and then, just because. I don't do this as often with my browser, because I have many speed-dials in my new tab page, so you can barely see a background. I wanted to try something else for a change, and decided to go with the Mue extension for Firefox and Chrome. Besides the cool background, it displays some additional content in every tab. This includes a greeting, a clock widget, and a random quote. All of these can be customized, or completely turned off from the add-on's settings. In fact, you don't have to set up any option, everything's ready-to-use, when you install the add-on. The star button in the bottom right corner lets you mark wallpapers as favorites, and the full-screen icon next to the star, removes all visual elements except the wallpaper. The latter isn't a permanent setting, it's just useful to get an unobstructed view of the background. See that search bar in the top left corner? Mue uses DuckDuckGo as the default search engine, but you can switch to Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ecosia, Yandex, Qwant, Ask, Start Page, or a custom search provider of your choice. So, where does Mue source the images from? The extension's has its own image database which is community driven, if you notice the names appearing in the bottom left corner, you can see the name of the person who contributed that photo. Want even more images? Click on the gear button in the top right corner to open Mue's settings. The Background section has an option that says "Background API", click on the menu and switch to the Unsplash service. While you're on this screen, you can adjust the blur effect and brightness of the image. It also has options to use a custom background, which can be an online image, or one that you upload to the service. Local images don't seem to be supported by the add-on. Not a fan of the photos? You can have a solid color as the background too. You may configure the Clock widget from the Time settings, it has an optional 24-hour clock and an analog mode. Do you like the Greeting displayed in new tabs? Well, you can include your name if you'd like to add a personal touch. As I mentioned earlier, you can toggle any of the widgets if you want a more minimal experience. Mue is an open source extension. Sometimes when you open a new tab, the add-on takes a couple of seconds to load the background image. That's okay I guess, but occasionally the image stayed blank. Head to this page to try out an interactive demo of Mue. Download the extension for Firefox and Chrome. The marketplace didn't work for me at all, it was stuck at "Loading..." endlessly in both Firefox and Chrome (Edge). It seems to be hosted at https://marketplace.muetab.com/, which was giving me errors. It was only then I noticed on the project page on GitHub, that the developer has shared a roadmap (on Trello), which acknowledges that the Marketplace isn't working. The market and its add-ons, will hopefully be fixed in version 5.0, which will be released this year. It's not a dealbreaker, as the other features work just fine. I would have liked the extension more if it supported speed-dials or bookmarklets. That being said, Mue is a very impressive add-on. Landing Page https://github.com/mue/mue Source: Customize your new tab page with random wallpapers, quotes with the Mue extension for Firefox and Chrome
  23. Open a URL from the clipboard with a hotkey using the Paste and Go Key extension for Firefox The Paste and Go option has been available in Firefox for over a decade. It is a very useful feature which I use it frequently, and I'm sure some of you do as well. Is there a way to make this more convenient? There is, with the help of an extension called Paste and Go Key. The name is a dead giveaway on how it works. The add-on relies on a keyboard shortcut. Once installed, all you have to do is copy a link to the clipboard and hit the combo Ctrl + Shift + V. And the add-on will open the link, this saves you the manual effort of moving the mouse to the awesome bar and accessing the browser's right-click menu option. I like it, because it provides a more efficient way to open links, especially when pasting them from a different program. What happens when the clipboard doesn't contain a URL (or a partial URL), nothing. It just won't work. Now, there are a few things that you may want to tweak. By default, Paste and Go Key opens the link in the current tab. This can be an issue, if you want to retain the page you're on. The add-on lets you change this, so you can choose to open the links in a new tab in the foreground, or the background. Don't like the default shortcut? Using the same keys for something else? You may change the hotkey from the settings, it allows you to choose a combination of up to 3 keys, and you can include two of the following: Control, Alt, Shift, along with any other key of your choice. Paste and Go Key can be used for a different function, to perform an online search. This option is disabled by default, when enabled, instead of loading the URL, it will look up the queried term, in this instance, the contents of the clipboard. The extension uses Google's search engine, but you can switch to a different search provider of your choice. You'll need to paste the search URL in the box on the add-on's Settings page. The default one is https://www.google.com/search?q=%s. Let's say you want to switch it to use DuckDuckGo, it should be https://duckduckgo.com/?q=%s. You may have noticed that Paste and Go Key placed an icon on the toolbar. Well, if it's a keyboard-based extension, what good is that button for? Copy a link to the clipboard, and click on that button, and it will load the page. It's basically a mouse-friendly shortcut which is functionally identical to the hotkey. That's pretty cool, and it works with the search option too. I couldn't find the source code of Paste and Go Key. Does the add-on work when you have multiple URLs in the clipboard? Unfortunately no, but there is a similar extension called Multiple Paste and Go Button that does the job. It even uses the same shortcut. This is the add-on that I had been using before I came across Paste and Go Key. While the former has not been updated in many months, the latter offers a few additional options which makes it worth using, plus you can customize the hotkey. Landing Page https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/paste-and-go-key/ Source: Open a URL from the clipboard with a hotkey using the Paste and Go Key extension for Firefox
  24. Web Translate is a Firefox and Chrome extension that displays the translation of the selected text Every once in a while, I visit websites which are not in a language I'm familiar with. While translating the entire page is a good idea, sometimes I may only need just a sentence or two to be translated. Normally, I paste the lines into a translation extension that I use. But you know how it is, sometimes the translation makes no sense, and you may want to try a different one. Web Translate is an extension for Firefox and Chrome, that displays the translation of the selected text in a pop-up or modal, and also lets you choose the translation service you want to use. The add-on places an icon on the toolbar, which you can use to access its interface. The UI is a pop-up window, and it may look familiar if you're using the Group Speed Dial add-on, that's because both extensions are written by the same developer. Visit a web page that is not in your default language, and right-click anywhere to access the browser's context menu. Select the option that says Translate Page, and Web Translate will open a new tab with the Google Translated version of the page in your default language. You can also click on the add-on's button, and then on the second option in the sidebar to do the same. This isn't convenient than the right-click menu, but the pop-up interface has many other options. Do you want to translate specific text on the page? Highlight the content, access the context menu and select Translate "selected text". Doing so opens the Web Translate's interface with the first tab in focus, and the extension automatically makes a query with the selected content in the "source" pane. After a second or two, the translated version of the text is displayed on the other pane. The Translate tab's interface differs based on the service that you select. For instance, if you're using Google Translate, you will see options to mark a translation as a favorite, listen to the translation using text-to-speech. The paper icon sends the translation to the clipboard. Found an incorrect translation? Edit it by clicking the pencil button. The share button lets you send the translation via Email, Twitter, etc. Switch to the Microsoft Bing Translator, and you'll only see the original text and translation panes, and a list of commonly used phrases. DeepL Translator has options similar to Google's, but also lets you save the translation as a text document. Click on the settings button and you can change the default translation service, you may choose from: Google Translate, Microsoft Bing Translator, DeepL Translator, Yandex Translate and Baidu Translator. The settings page has options to change the size of the sidebar, toggle the context menu options for translate text/page. Dislike the pop-up interface? Web Translate can be set to open in a modal, or in a new tab or a new window. This also works for the context menu actions. You can toggle an optional Dark mode for the add-on's interface. Download Web Translate for Firefox and Chrome. The extension is not open source. The Chrome version doesn't support Google Translate in the pop-up/modal. According to a comment from the developer, this seems to be due to a limitation in the browser. The add-on is also available for Mozilla Thunderbird. I switched to Simple Translate last year (from "To Google Translate"), and have been quite happy with it. But, I think Web translate does an equally good job. Landing Page https://fastaddons.com/ Source: Web Translate is a Firefox and Chrome extension that displays the translation of the selected text
  25. Enable proper word wrapping in Thunderbird using the Toggle Line Wrap extension Do you write long mails? Most users do, sometimes at least. It can be detailed instructions for someone, collaborative mails between you and your colleagues, or just a letter of correspondence. As a Thunderbird user, you may have experienced this issue, when you write a message and the sentences get longer, the mail ends up taking the screen space from one end of the compose window to the other. And you'll be moving your head from side-to-side as if you were watching a Tennis match, just to keep checking the mail contents. This is particularly annoying while working on large screen monitors. Text editors suffer from this issue as well, but they have a simple solution for it readily available, word wrap. Toggle Line Wrap is an extension for Thunderbird that adds support for word wrap in your messages. Install the extension, and click on the Write button on the mail client's toolbar. The message compose window should open as usual, but you will see a new option in the top right-corner of the window, that is labeled "Line Wrap". Now, there is a good chance that the Line Wrap button may be greyed out for you. Don't worry about it, you can get it working in a jiffy. Go to Thunderbird's options page, stay on the General tab, and scroll down to the bottom. Click on the button that says Config Editor, it's similar to Firefox's about:config page. Accept the disclaimer, and on the next screen, type "mailnews.send_plaintext_flowed", and set the preference's boolean value to false. Now, go back to the compose window, and the Line Wrap button should be clickable. When it is toggled, the text content of your mails should stick to the left side of the window, which makes it easier to read without straining yourself. If you have disabled Line Wrap, a badge appears on the button to indicate that it is "off". You may Toggle Line Wrap quickly by using the hotkey, Ctrl + Shift + W. There are a few limitations in Toggle Line Wrap. Firstly, the line wrapping only works in the message composer, i.e., you cannot toggle it for messages that are in your Inbox, Sent folders. This is kind of a let down, but at least you have it for writing mails. The other drawback is that the mail extension only supports the plain text format. What this means is that you will have to disable the "Compose messages in HTML format" option, under your email account's setting. And if you have multiple accounts, you'll need to toggle the option for each of those. The add-on has a single option that you can modify, and it enables the line wrapping behavior by default for all mails that you compose. If you'd rather have manual control over this, disable the option, and use the toolbar button or the hotkey whenever you want to invoke its functionality. Toggle Line Wrap is an open source plugin. It is a mail extension that is a replacement for Toggle Word Wrap, also from the same developer. Landing Page https://addons.thunderbird.net/en-US/thunderbird/addon/toggle-line-wrap/ Source: Enable proper word wrapping in Thunderbird using the Toggle Line Wrap extension
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